DEDICATED TO MAKING A DIFFERENCE
World Business Council for
This version of the DaimlerChrysler – POEMAtec Alliance case study is based on the full
business school case prepared by Yerina Mugica under the direction of Professor Ted London
at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina.
DaimlerChrysler – POEMAtec Alliance
Partnering for mutual success
The sustainable use of rain forests in Brazil can preserve natural resources while
providing a source of income to communities and improving their standard of living.
Monocultures deplete the soil of its nutrients in five to seven years, pushing farmers to
slash and burn more of the rain forest to use for farming. Economically viable
reforestation can help transform monoculture plantations to mixed tropical forests that
include coconut palms, rubber, cacao, banana, Brazilian chestnut trees and other plants
in an environmentally benign way. Additionally, coconut fiber products are biodegradable
and recyclable while latex is a renewable resource. Their production and extraction are
sustainable activities bringing added value to the economy, society and the environment.
DaimlerChrysler formed an alliance with the Poverty and Environment in Amazonia
Research and Development project (POEMA) to reforest previously cleared land to
produce continuous yields year-round and process these harvests within the region.
POEMA was founded in 1991 as a special program of the Federal University of Para to
curb deforestation in the Amazon rain forest. Its goal is to create sustainable economic
alternatives and improve living conditions in the Amazon region of Brazil.
Making it possible
In 1991, POEMA approached German car manufacturer DaimlerChrysler and its Brazilian
subsidiary, Mercedes- Benz do Brasil in Sao Paulo with a proposal to conduct research
on substituting synthetic inputs with natural fibers for interior car parts. Finding this in
alignment with its corporate responsibili